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Bulldog Brower (1933-1997)

Real NameRichard Gland

Birthdate - 9/17/33 - 9/15/97

5’8” 270 lbs. - Wilmington, DE

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - Stu Hart

Groups - Big Bad John’s Army

AliasesDelaware Destroyer

Peak Years`63-`73

Place in HistoryDick “Bulldog” Brower was, in many ways, the stereotypical pro-wrestling bad guy.  Physically, he was an impressive figure with a thick, bulky frame not unlike Dick the Bruiser.  He even adopted a similar style that was frenetic and physical, which made him seem like a dangerous man.  His large tattoos, his bulging eyes and head-twitching made Bulldog Brower definitely stand out.  A former Marine who spent time in the Dungeon, Brower was a legit tough guy who reveled in that image.  Whipper Watson brought him to Toronto as one of his main rivals in the early 1960s.  Although Bulldog Brower is not typically regarded as a top level heel, he was pushed alongside men like Johnny Valentine, Dr. Jerry Graham and Fritz Von Erich during his heyday.  He also developed a rivalry with Bruno Sammartino that they rekindled in the WWWF several times.  Being shorter than most and stocky and solid, the Bulldog monicker suited Dick Brower well.  His aggressive style worked well with most any babyface opponent.  He loved being the bad guy, tossing around anything not nailed down, threatening fans and raising hell inside and outside of the ring.  When the NWF in nearby Buffalo began picking up steam, Bulldog Brower headed in and battled Johnny Powers over their top title.  Brower also became a regular in Australia working on top as part of Big Bad John’s Army.  His feuds with Killer Karl Kox, Mark Lewin and King Curtis are among the most well-remembered in the country.  While he was still imposing and had his charisma as a wild and dangerous man, Brower was heavier, slower and lazier in the ring by this mid-70s.  The IWA, which grew out of the NWF, used him as a key heel against Mighty Igor, Mil Mascaras and Johnny Powers.  Most of the footage available of Bulldog Brower is from this time in the IWA and WWF and he is not what he was earlier in his career.  Brower’s last run of note was challenging WWF Champion Bob Backlund, largely based off his rivalry with Bruno almost a decade earlier.  Brower maintained membership in the New Jersey Ironworkers union throughout his career and stayed in that field after retiring.  Diabetes and a workplace injury that did not heal properly led to him losing a foot.  He sunk into a depression in the later stages of his life.  Sadly, there has been the rumor that the Bulldog went from “Brower Power” to “White Power” at some point.  Although he had a history of working with pro-wrestlers of all races, he allegedly appeared on TV and radio shows in addition to selling merchandise at independent shows that this accusation is built on.  It tainted the legacy of a man who was not the most highly regarded by his peers already.  Bulldog Brower was a tremendous heel in his prime who worked on top most of his career.  He was that type that turned his real personality up several notches and was able to live that character.  It allowed him to become successful for the bulk of his career and become one of those unforgettable characters to those who grew up watching him.